Bedford Co., VA- Some Bedford County Schools will be ramping up security in the coming months after receiving a $75,000 grant from the state.
Bedford Elementary, Bedford Primary, Stewartsville Elementary and Thaxton Elementary were some of the 459 schools across the Commonwealth that received the School Security Equipment Grants.
The Bedford County School System actually had to match 25% of the grant, so the schools are looking at close to $100,000 in improvement funds. The four schools will be putting most of the money toward upgrading video monitoring equipment.
Some other Bedford County Schools are taking security into their own hands. Jefferson Forest High and Middle Schools have invested in a new ID card reading machine that will immediately tell staff if someone is a registered sex offender.
This system will improve security a couple different ways. It will speed up the check-in process for guests, and it will give school officials a real-time monitoring system of just who's visiting their school.
The system, Complete Campus Security Solution, is quite simple. And, it is actually an addition to their current kid ID system, Ident-A-Kid.
Here's how it works; when you enter the school, you're greeted by a receptionist, who takes your ID and runs it through the card reader. Then the system does the rest.
"They scan the license, we print off their visitor pass. But, it's also checking against that registry and if we have a situation where we have someone identified as being on that registry then we very quickly take the appropriate action necessary," said Tony Francis, Principal of Jefferson Forest High School.
Jefferson Forest Middle School is already using this system. The high school will start implementing it next week. Again, this is something the schools have done on their own, with their own funds. The systems only cost a little over $200.
The plan is to see how effective the Complete Campus Security Solution is at JF, then they might become a staple at all Bedford County Schools.